Google Play Blocks Ad-Blocking Apps

As a result of their alleged violation of the developer distribution agreement, a number of ad-blocking apps have been pulled from the Google Play store.

AdBlock Plus, AdBlocker, AdAway and AdFree have been tossed, according to published reports Thursday.

In response to the move, Adblock Plus issued a statement, blasting Google for a decision that “threatens consumer choice.”

Adblock Plus is a free ad-blocking tool that is the product of an open-source community project; it has been downloaded more than 200 million times worldwide. Adblock Plus plugs into any Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Android browser.

Adblock Plus, according to the statement, is the #1 most downloaded browser add-on in the world.

“I realize that advertising revenue is important to Google, but understand that Adblock Plus does not automatically block all ads; we simply allow users the choice whether to block ads or whitelist them. We even encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an Acceptable Ads policy, which is debated and decided in an open public forum,” says Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “By unilaterally removing these apps, Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic. People should be really alarmed by this move.”

Android users, the app maker says, can still download and install Adblock Plus directly from their website.

Do you agree with Google’s decision to dump the ad-blocking apps?